RV Living

How to RV With Large Dogs?

Here are 12 easy methods to RV with your large dogs. You can manage it easily by familiarizing them with traveling and fulfilling their essential requirements.

How to RV With Large Dogs? RVing with large dog breeds like Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Huskies requires special space, food, health, temperature, and cleaning requirements. Moreover, you have to find a dog-friendly campground and train your dog to follow your commands.

You cannot leave them alone or handover to anybody while going camping for a week or more days. 

How to RV With Large Dogs?

RV manufacturers also consider it and provide optional customization to accommodate large dog species like bulldogs, Labradors, and many others.

Legal requirements

Each campground has specific rules and regulations regarding lifestyle and prohibited and allowed activities.

Few of them allow large dogs at the campground and have facilities like food, health, etc. are available to facilitate the owners.

However, others have clear instructions not to bring any dogs with RVs to campgrounds. Some allow limited access to dogs up to certain areas like parking spaces or inside the motorhome.

Therefore you should do some research before starting a journey to select a campsite that allows dogs entry.

Otherwise, you will face inconvenience when you get there and have to find another place. You must confirm that via calling them to go with the planned journey.

There are also some restrictions by campgrounds for certain breeds like rottweilers to avoid harm to other pets.

In the case of boondocking, there are specific regulations to keep dogs with RV in particular manners.

Moreover, they restrict the owners from keeping their dogs on leash and never leave them unattended. If you fail to do so, you have to face legal repercussions and result in some penalties.

Moreover, there are few regulatory requirements to carry your pets with you on highways. You should have the necessary paperwork to keep the dog in an RV.

Other conditions can be guidelines to take care of them from associations and organizations working for the rights of the pet. 

There are websites available that provide various filters to provide detailed information regarding multiple campgrounds. Therefore consult them to find the right spot for you to keep the dog with you. 

Space requirements

RVs have different sizes according to their types, from pop-up campers to motorhomes and even giant toy haulers. You can select the one according to the number of dogs with you want to go on camping.

A toy hauler is an ideal choice for 3 to 4 dogs where you can use the garage space in its backside to keep dog crates.

Class A motorhomes have slide-out areas to provide increased space in living areas or bedrooms. You can manage that space to keep dog kennels by removing any extra sofas in the area.

The optimum size of RV to have some space for dogs during camping is in the range of 30 inches to 45 inches with slide-outs in Class A, B, or C motorhomes.

In this way, you can create an opportunity to place dog kennels inside the cabin to let them sleep with you instead of outside.

Another option can be to let them sleep on the floor with rugs underneath and blankets over them to have a sound sleep without any disturbance.  

It solves the space problem and also keeps your dog connected. However, it depends on outside weather conditions, and some people think it cruel to keep your dogs away from you at a campground.

Store dog food and water in RV

They have special food requirements as they need to eat more, drink more, and need more exercise to keep them fit. Therefore you should make arrangements for dog supplies beforehand while leaving for camping with them.

It is an excellent practice to keep the storage of regular food items that you feed your dog at home in airtight containers.

It will be helpful for the sound digestive system at the campground as the foods available at the site may not be of suitable quality.

Similarly, you can keep the water from your home in bottles for long-term usage at campsites to avoid any illness due to water change. Restrict your dog from eating junk food items and water from open ponds or streams to avoid any health issues.

Use a balanced diet with commercially available dog food and the special feast of home-cooked food items.

Change the diet plan according to the daily routine of your pet. Moreover, use spill-free bowls for water and food with holders to avoid spillage of water and food items on the RV floor.

It will also help prevent toppling food or water bowls while the dog eats, resulting in a mess on the floor.  

Health requirements

Dog-friendly campgrounds have all the essential services required for the pet. Therefore, they have access to and contact information of nearby veterinarians. 

● Your dog must have a complete vaccination record of all recommended sorts before entering the campground.

● Visit the vet to ensure that your dog is free of ticks and fleas to avoid their spread to other pets at the campsite.

● If your dog has any chronic illness or health problem, mark it with the name of sickness and keep necessary medicines along with you to ensure proper treatment.

● In case of any allergies due to environmental conditions, seek help from a vet and restrict your dog’s movement.

● Keep the dog first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic medicines, and other essential tools for use in emergency conditions.

How to maintain temperature for dogs in RV?

Different dog breeds require varying climate conditions for optimal survival, ranging from too hot to too cold.

Therefore, it is essential to know about the breed of dog you are RVing with and maintain the camper temperature according to the requirements.

Species living in warm weather are Greyhound, Great Dane, and Whippet; for cold weather are Huskies, Mountain Dog, St. Bernard, Chow Chow, and German Shepherd.

However, despite the species, it is a general requirement to keep the RV temperature down, especially during warm weather, by using air conditioning.

Keep plenty of fresh cold water to help the dog keep its body cool. Other possible arrangements can be giving them access to the bathtub.

It is easier to fulfill temperature requirements during the winter season by using blankets to cover the dog during the night.

In freezing conditions, a heater or fireplace will serve the purpose of ensuring the dog’s sound sleep.

There are specific tools available in the market to monitor the temperature of the RV. They regularly send notifications regarding too hot or cold environments in the RV while you are away.

Therefore, purchase the one, install it in the RV, connect with the mobile app, and regularly get updates regarding optimal temperature for your dog.

Bathroom requirements

The most common complaints you receive from neighbors at a campground will be your dog pooping or urinating on their gravel area.

It will become your ethical responsibility to clean that mess created by your dog. To avoid such problems, you should train your dogs to relax in poop bags or toilets.

Therefore, keep along with biodegradable poop bags with holders to keep the environment of the campground clean and avoid the offense of neighbors.

Keep other pets away

It is a safe practice to keep your dog leashed all the time while going outside to keep it under control. 

If you leave it without any leash, it can fight with them and harm them or get harmed from them.

Moreover, most campgrounds are in remote, wild areas; therefore, there are chances of wild animals.

Therefore, allow only controlled movement of your dog or otherwise hire a dog sitter to take care of it while going away or leaving it alone.

Keep the dog away from the driver

There are specific gears available to keep your dog safe while driving, including a kennel, cabin, or safety belt.

It also helps keep the dog in its place to avoid unnecessary movement and protect it from road jerks.

It will distract your attention from the road and cause a road accident. Therefore, these arrangements are necessary for your safety and for other people on the road.

Keep the windows closed during the journey

Another good practice is to keep the windows closed during driving to prevent the dog from jumping out.

While traveling, if your dog is not trained and sees a squirrel or any other pet outside, it can jump out of the RV to get it leading to harmful consequences or injuries.

Vacuum clean the RV daily to remove dog hair

One of the biggest problems for campers traveling with dogs is their hairs all over the cabin and sitting areas.

This problem further intensifies for those campers having carpets on the floors. In the presence of carpet, it is difficult to sweep the floor to remove hair. Moreover, besides using cover sheets, your couch, sofas, and bed will have plenty of them, leading to allergies.

You can get rid of dog hair is to use specially designed vacuum cleaners for this purpose. They are portable, rechargeable, and can easily clean the whole area within no time.

You can also brush its hair outside the camper daily to reduce them inside or use de-shedding tools available in the market.

Restricting its movement in Kennel or sleeping crates will also solve this problem up to a limited extent.

Necessary gadgets for camping with large dogs

There are plenty of tools and gadgets available in the market to facilitate your stay at a campground with dogs. 

  • Dog Crate of appropriate size for each dog
  • Harness and leash
  • Spill free water and food bowl with stand
  • Biodegradable poop bags
  • Dog food items
  • Plenty of water
  • First aid kit
  • blankets/ cover sheets
  • Necessary medication

Use the dog kennel or crates to restrict its movement

A kennel is a small portable home to fulfill the essential sleeping and rest requirements of a dog without messing up your living area.

Therefore, you should choose a kennel or crate of the size that suits the size of most large dogs.

Dog Breed Crate Size (length) Weight
Rottweiler 45-55 inches 90-150 pounds
German Shepherd 38-45 inches 75-100 pounds
Husky 36-45 inches 40-60 pounds
Labrador 36-42 inches 55-80 pounds
Bulldog 36-42 inches 40-55 pounds

Find an appropriate place in the lounge or dinette to keep underneath it. While using the dinette, keep it outside the cabin if the weather is nice.

Crates having different materials like plastic, wooden, or steel are available. They are also foldable, making them easy to hide when not in use. Place them inside the cabin when you go outside and move them outside the RV when you come back.

Soft fabric crates with zippers are also an option in case of limited space available. 

You can measure the exact crate size by measuring the length of your dog and adding a few extra inches. Here is a table for typical crate requirements for the adult size of few common species:

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